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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 5:41am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I know we've discussed this previously.

Earlier today, a non-fiction author tweeted this: 

Am I the only one who will be boycotting David Cameron's self-serving, self-justifying memoirs?

No, mate, you're NOT the only one. I also will not be buying David Cameron's memoirs. And I know a lot in my social circle who won't be buying it, either. I had coffee with my mother and brother recently. They won't be buying it, either.

The reason I hate the phrase is I think there's a little bit of a superiority complex at work.

I worked in an office once where one guy said, "Am I the only one who thinks we need to aim for an earlier finish time for opening post?" (This was a mailroom position). Erm, no, I, like others, wanted to finish earlier so we could move on to other duties.

"Am I the only one who saw this subtle social commentary in a movie?"
"Am I the only one who has watched LEGION?"

Yep, heard those, too.

Maybe I am over-thinking, but the superiority complex aspect of that phrase is what irks me. Have I used that phrase? Possibly as a child, but it's one I loathe as an adult.

Returning to the original tweeter, why would he assume he is the ONLY one who isn't buying Cameron's memoirs? Isn't he putting himself on a pedestal?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 5:48am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

"Am I the only one..." is a self-inflating (and lazy) way of asking "Who else is doing/thinking this?".
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 6:10am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

It seems to come from a place of narcissism, ego, etc. And, as you say, a self-inflating way of asking "Who else is doing this?"

If I got lost in an underwater cave, and was kidnapped by an underwater Sasquatch, I may well ask, "Am I the only one who has been kidnapped by an underwater Sasquatch deep in the oceans?" Chances are, no-one else has.

But I won't ask it about memoirs, workplace activities, comics I've read, etc.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 7:04am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

You're not over-thinking, Robbie. The phrase does come off, intentionally or not, as: "...am I only one smart enough to [etc.]?"
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 7:58am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Yes, I thought so. In every context I have heard it, there was a smugness, a swagger, superiority, etc.

It is like a red rag to a bull with me. 

But I'm a miserable, pedantic git who hates it when someone says/writes "Could of..." rather than "Could have..." ;-)
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 9:57am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Whenever someone starts a sentence with "Am I the only one...", I cut them off right away by going:

"Yes. Yes, you are."
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 10:12am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Ha, that's kind of what I do when someone states "Well, all I know is..."

That's all you know?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 10:51am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Whenever someone starts a sentence with "Am I the only one...", I cut them off right away by going:  

"Yes. Yes, you are."

-

I thought I was the only one who did that.
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 1:54pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I'm guilty of using that phrase and I also agree that it often comes off as self inflating.

In my defense though, when I've used it, it was a way for me to express my frustration rather than my superiority.

Or, I was fishing for agreement. 

For example...
Am I the only one who thinks this food is bitter?

I would use that example if I worried I might actually be the only one who thought that. So if others agreed the food was bitter, I'd know I was  still "normal" and not "crazy"......whew.



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John Popa
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 3:14pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Whenever someone starts a sentence with "Am I the only one...", I cut them off right away by going:

"Yes. Yes, you are."

-----

I have a bunch of people at work when I ask how they're doing reply with 'oh, you know....' To which I always reply, 'Actually, I don't know, that's why I asked.'
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 4:05pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I thought I was the only one who did that.
-----------------------
Am I only the one to see what Michael's done here?
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 13 July 2018 at 2:30am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I always think of that phrase as being said in an exasperated tone rather than a superior way, and I like that it invites a response/answer. 'Am I the only one who...' certainly doesn't irritate me in the way that starting everything with an unnecessary 'So' does.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 July 2018 at 4:18am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Fair point, Andrew.

I think what irks me with the author I mentioned in my initial post is that he does it a lot. He also has that FUCKING annoying habit of tweeting a political viewpoint and then adding, "Retweet if you agree."

Great, Marcus Chown, does that mean if I don't retweet it, you are presuming I don't agree? Is he implying that we are too STUPID to decide if his tweet warrants a retweet? Surely if his tweets are as good as he claims they are, they'll get retweets, anyway.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 July 2018 at 5:55am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

There are a whole bunch of phrases we use without consideration.

"You know what I think?" An abbreviation of "Do you want to know what I think?" In its form as used, I feel an urge to say "Have you told me before?"

"I've always..." Well, unless this is something you have been doing since the day you were born, you really haven't "always" done it.

"I hate..." Do you? Really? Lot of energy in hating.

"I can't wait..." Sure you can.

"Literally..." Only. apparently "literally" and "figuatively" have recently become acceptably interchangeable. Yuck.

So many more!!

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 July 2018 at 8:36am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

The literally one is overused (the UK media reported on this). 

"My heart is literally broken."

(Really? Then I'd call a paramedic, forthwith. You don't have much time left).

Seems redundant in a sense at times, too.

"He literally punched the guy."

(Oh good, I thought he might have figuratively punched the guy during a bar fight).
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 13 July 2018 at 10:11am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I've seen, more than once, a post on Facebook that says, "Do you ever look at your child and feel your heart literally melt?"

Well, no. If I did, it would mean my child was some kind of horrible mutant monster...and I wouldn't be around for you to ask. 

The ones the post that usually aren't too happy with this reply. 
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 13 July 2018 at 6:01pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

The worst most over-used common phrase ever is "do you know what I'm saying" because it's equally condescending and annoying. Usually people that use it a lot aren't saying anything all that difficult to grasp.
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